Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smooth Finish

First, briefly, let me start out by saying it was not intended for the last post to "leave you hanging" or be suspenseful. I am right in the middle of residency interview season and I have had 4 interviews and driven 2000 miles in the last 7 days. The last post was written one of those nights in a roach motel when I couldn't sleep and just got to the point where it was getting too long to hold people's interest but not long enough to finish the story so I just stopped at a logical transition point.


The longest five days of our lives. Yes they were. Have you ever thought to yourself, "You know, this is one of those things where I can't honestly say I know how I would react until I was faced with the situation.,"? Well if you are like me, there are a several ethical/moral conundrums that you know how you'd like to react, but in all honesty you are human and being know where I'm going with this.

A little more background, what was seen on the Ultrasound was a cystic looking structure on the back of the baby's neck. This could mean a lot of things, but the short skinny is that things that look like this, depending on how far along the baby is can be indicators of Down syndrome, Turner's syndrome, or other associated problems elsewhere in the baby's body. So, yes, we were worried and we reacted like we normally would by being upset initially but then diving into my textbooks, searching online medical databases for info, anything to get us through those five days.

It was, again, one of those situations where I hoped I would feel one way, but then when faced with the situation I couldn't deny that I wanted a healthy wife and a perfect healthy little baby. Through a lot of reflection, prayer, and discussion with my lovely wife who was going through these same things, we finally arrived at a great place......We loved this child, we loved this child, we loved this child. It is one of those weird, primal, parenting things that I guess is hard to describe. Despite the possibility of physical and/or mental problems with our growing child, it was OUR child and we knew we were meant to have it, just as it was, perfect in God's eyes, and really in our eyes too. It gave us a real comfort, a peace, a strength to know that moving forward, we had been prepared for this challenge by our ten year relationship, our issues becoming pregnant, and by our Faith to know that we could handle whatever lay in front of us.

With this perspective, I got through my days working in the ICU, Jaynah got through her long commutes of solitude every day, waiting for the day where we would learn more about what was ahead. That day finally came. We went to the specialist, filled out a million checklists of paper work, made a literal family tree with a genetic counselor and finally after what seemed like days in that office got to the money spot, shirt up, warm gel, probe....GO. Uterus, check, intrauterine pregnancy, check, ovaries, check, check, cervix, closed, placenta, check, amniotic fluid, plenty, developing embryo appropriate size for dates, check, heartbeat, 176 bpm.

This time baby had arms, had legs, and was starting to really take shape and then, the sweetest confirmation a parent can hear, "Yeah, so where was this 'cyst' they were seeing?" She didn't finish her last word when I blurted out....."It's not there." Jaynah's heartbeat dropped by 100, blood pressure by half, I got feeling back in my hand, and she actually started the, In......Out.......In.......Out breathing thing again. The technologist took a bunch of pictures, a bunch of angles and then went to get the doctor to come review the pictures. Much to our relief, they were very thourough looking up, down, around, behind, sideways and any other way you can think of to make sure there wasn't anything evident around the baby's head and neck. We were so thankful and relieved that at least at this point things were looking up. The specialist was very nice and was sure to explain everything and to let us know that she wanted to see us back a few more times to follow up blood work, and do follow up scans though at this point she considered it precautionary.

As I am writing this, we are one week past our final visit with the specialist and so far, everything is still on the up and up. As Yoda would say, "A purpose in everything there is." Again, Jaynah and I had the opportunity to come closer as a couple, to learn a great deal about ourselves and each other, things at the core of who we are. We are thankful for that, thankful for good news, and hopeful that health and happiness will continue.

8 Weeks:

9 weeks:

12 weeks:

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